Softball Splits Twin Bill with ETSU, Sets Up SoCon Title Showdown Sunday
GREENSBORO, N.C. – UNCG and ETSU split their doubleheader Saturday afternoon at the UNCG Softball Stadium, setting up a Sunday showdown for the Southern Conference Championship and the No. 1 seed in next week's SoCon tournament.
Sunday will also be Senior Day for UNCG. The Spartans will honor Sidney Grkman (Salisbury, N.C./Jesse Carson), Hagan Kiser (Asheboro, N.C./Southwestern), Emily Lopez (Charlotte, N.C./Olympic) and Tory Wright (Potomac Falls, Va./Dominion) prior to first pitch.
Alicia Bazonski (Sheffield, Mass./Mount Everett) took to the rubber in the early game, earning her 17th win of the season after throwing a complete game, allowing two runs on nine hits and six walks, striking out three.
UNCG grabbed the lead in the third inning as Gabrielle Cubbage (Felton, Del./Lake Forest) delivered a two-out single to center, bringing Jasmine Palmer (Biltmore Lake, N.C./Florida State) around home from second base to put the Spartans up 1-0.
After the Bucs tied the game in the top of the fourth, Rachael McClaskey (Pine Hill, N.J./Overbrook) quickly reclaimed the lead for the Blue and Gold in the bottom half, launching a Lindsey Fadnek offering well over the right field wall for a solo homer.
ETSU once again came back with a run in the next half inning to tie the game but the Spartans had another answer. Following a Palmer walk and back to back infield singles by Alexis Overdiep (Apex, N.C./Apex) and Cubbage, Marisa Sholtes (Albany, N.Y./South Colonie Central) stroked a single up the middle to plate a pair and put the Spartans up 4-2, a score that would hold through the rest of the game.
Kylie Bouplon (Winston-Salem, N.C./Forsyth Country Day) received the loss after allowing five runs on two hits and two walks in 0.2 innings. Stephanie Bryden (Orlando, Fla./East River) entered in relief and threw the final 6.1 innings, surrendering four runs on nine hits and seven walks, striking out six.
The Bucs opened up with five runs in the first and really broke things open with a Tiffany Laughren three-run home run in the second, taking a commanding 8-0 lead after two.
The Spartans struggled to get the offense going but gained traction in the fourth. Sholtes opened up scoring for UNCG with an absolute moon shot past the right field fence. After a Wright walk, Grkman stroked a homer of her own, taking Madison Ogle to straight-away center field to cut the deficit to 8-3.
ETSU put a halt to the momentum momentarily with a run in the fifth UNCG again closed the Buc lead in the sixth. Wright led off the frame with a solo shot to dead center and later on in the inning Grkman scored on a throwing error at third base for ETSU.
The Spartans gave themselves a chance to complete the comeback in the seventh. Following an Overdiep single, Cubbage planted a Rebecca Wahrmund pitch over the Spartan Statue in center field. Wright was hit by a pitch and Grkman singled to right to bring the winning run to the plate in Rebecca Kale (Hudson, N.C./South Caldwell) but the Spartan catcher flew out to left to end the threat and the ball game.